Take aim and blast the monkey in a barrel in Blast Monkeys, an arcade puzzle game from Yobonja. Almost like a simplified 2D version of Super Monkey Ball, your objective in Blast Monkeys is to safely launch Moki the monkey through moving obstacles and floating bananas into a goal portal.
Remember playing Donkey Kong Country's barrel-blasting segments? Those who grew up playing this 16-bit classic will recall the timing and precision it took to skillfully launch your monkey from barrel to barrel while avoiding rotating walls, obtrusive enemies, and pitfalls. Blast Monkeys reproduces this experience with a series of challenges that are both fun and addictive. Every level begins with Moki the monkey patiently waiting inside a rotating barrel, marked with a "tap" sign. Tapping the barrel will halt its rotation and send Moki flying straight out.
Moki will encounter hovering and spinning platforms that block your attempts to get him to the goal. Advanced levels feature tappable bubbles that Moki can use to stay afloat and multiple barrels to switch direction. Gunning for the goal quickly becomes a less viable solution, so expect to experiment with different strategies.
Every level contains three floating bananas placed in specific spots. Collecting these three bananas before reaching the goal results in higher scores and can unlock additional challenge levels.
Blast Monkeys initially features 30 levels (with 30 more unlockable levels) and releases a new level every week. Blasting and bouncing monkeys into safety got difficult pretty fast, thanks to challenging stage designs in the latter half of the game. Music is completely nonexistent and the sound effects complement the kid-friendly art style. Although visually intuitive, navigating the menus were sometimes frustrating. Using the dedicated back button on the Android handset will close the game instead of taking you back to previous menus. We found ourselves constantly scrolling back to relaunch the app, only to end up repeating the mistake and starting another cycle. Although it doesn't affect the gameplay itself, being unable to use the hardware's back button to navigate was a reoccurring annoyance that will hopefully be fixed in future updates. The installation took up roughly 7MB-8MB of storage space and can also be moved to the phone's SD card.
Despite these issues, Blast Monkeys is a blast to casually pick up and play and merits downloading, especially if it maintains weekly level updates.